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Hints to Help Create Larger/Clearer Print Documents

Paper and ink. Use matte non-glossy paper, either white or pastel color. Some people prefer yellow paper. Use black or dark blue ink.

Font. Use 14 point Arial. Do not underline and avoid using CAPITAL LETTERS IN BLOCKS OF TEXT because they are harder to read. Do use them in headlines or in single words to emphasize them. Avoid using italics because they are harder to read. In general, use bold letters to emphasize words.

Numbers. Numbers, 3, 5, 6, 8 are hard to read. Where you can, spell out the number like "the meeting will begin at eight o'clock."

Spacing. Left justified text is clearer. Center text for titles and headings. Don't squeeze or stretch text. Don't right justify even if you are using two columns. Leave enough space between columns so that people don't read across the whole page.

Design. Keep it simple and uncluttered. Avoid wrapping text around a graphic when it produces an uneven left hand edge. Make the margins smaller to fit more text in. Avoid double sided printing if it leaves a gray shadow on the paper's other side.

Paragraphs. Instead of indenting, leave a line space between paragraphs.

Page numbers and symbols. Page numbers, headers and footers, should be the same font size as the rest of the text. If you are providing both large and smaller print versions, it may be helpful to indicate the print page (pp) as well. Keep brackets, parentheses, colons, dash, slashes, etc. to a minimum.

Hasty larger print documents. Changing font size on your computer is simple. Also, if you need to, large print copies can be made on your copy machine by enlarging 8-1/2 x 11 inch documents to 11 x 17 inch paper. But this is not ideal because the larger paper is difficult to handle and it focuses on a person's disability. It often does work though. Enlarge approximately 135-150 percent depending on your margins. Try a page to make sure you are not losing any text on the edges.

For more information contact access @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

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